by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Dr. Zetsche: No city car planned for the Mercedes-Benz premium brand

Modern cities are becoming more and more crowded these days. Traffic and parking areas already put some serious issues to local authorities. In the 21st century, a new approach to mobility must be taken. While other premium constructors have chosen to downsize their lineup, Mercedes-Benz are not planning to offer a new model city vehicle placed in range just below the compact A-Class.

This matter is not of interest for the Stuttgart-based carmaker, as expressed by chief Dieter Zetsche. The Star brand will not accomodate a new model in the family, because the A-Class will stay the smallest member, at least in the short- and medium-term future.

Dr. Z highlighted the fact the new generation of Smart models will take the role of city cars for Daimler. Starting next year, the new fortwo will come into force, followed by the 4-seater fortwo+2 and a new SUV inspired by the forstars concept in 2015. The new vehicles will share most components and engine choices with Renault's future Twingo.

The future of city mobility is a tricky proposal. For Mercedes-Benz, the idea of a mini-class model is less feasible at the moment, although previous reports were indicating a different picture (see HERE). Spending high amounts of money on the development of such vehicles might not actually translate into high sales volumes, as their purchase price and practicality/usefulness level might not be attractive at all and so the revenue may be pretty badly affected.

Incorporating fancy technology and creating an entire marketing philosophy just for the sake of publicity and fashion for something that could actually not be very profitable in the end is risky, as is deteriorating the premium character of a famous luxury automotive brand with such less valuable models.

Note: The images illustrate what is just a digital proposition to a hypothetical mini-class Mercedes-Benz model designed by graphic artist Theophilus Chin and do not reflect the real position of the brand's officials.

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